Opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Ho Vann wrote to Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Monday, requesting that he intervene to halt the excavation of land in the Boeung Trabek lake area.
Ho Vann’s letter requested that Sar Kheng intervene on behalf of 184 families affected by the construction of a canal in the area. It added that Chamkarmon district authorities had dispatched more than 30 armed police to guard excavations in and around the lake, without providing any information to local people.
“Lakes which are public property belonging to the state, such as Ba Yab, Pong Peay, Boeung Kak, Boeung Snor, Boeung Choeung Ek … have been pumped to be drowned by [private] companies,” Ho Vann wrote in the letter.
“As a people’s representative of Phnom Penh constituency, I would like to request His Excellency [Sar Kheng] to please resolve and provide justice to the 184 families who have rights to occupy and construct houses on their land, which they have occupied for more than 30 years.”
For several months, families at the lake have held regular protests against the canal project, which government officials say will help alleviate flooding in Phnom Penh.
When contacted yesterday, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he could not comment in detail as he had not seen a copy of the letter. Chamkarmon district deputy governor Prom Samkhan declined to comment.